Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

The Same Obama You've Always Known

Barack Obama has never been anti-war, and he has the record to show it.

(Flickr/The White House)
It's been two weeks since President Barack Obama announced his administration's intervention in Libya, and so far, the reactions of progressives (liberal or otherwise) have been wide-ranging. On one end, in Congress, a handful of liberal Democrats led by Ohio's Dennis Kucinich have raged against the president for launching yet another war in the Middle East without congressional authorization. On the other, pundits and commentators like Mother Jones ' Kevin Drum or The New Republic 's Jonathan Chait have either been cautiously optimistic or confident that the mission will succeed in protecting civilians and removing Moammar Gadhafi from power. But there's a third category: 2008 Obama supporters who are simply baffled by the entire situation. "Who exactly did we vote for in 2008?" they're asking. After all, Barack Obama billed himself as the anti-war candidate. While still a state senator in Illinois, he spoke against the Iraq War, endearing himself to progressive voters and giving him...

Breaking: There Aren't Many Poor People at Elite Colleges

David Leonhardt notes the complete lack of socioeconomic diversity at elite colleges: In 2008, the most recent year in the Chronicle’s data, a mere 6.5 percent of Harvard students received Pell Grants. And Harvard wasn’t all that unusual among elite colleges. At Washington University in St. Louis, only 5.7 percent of students received Pell Grants. At the University of Pennsylvania, the share was 8.2 percent. At Duke and Northwestern, it was 8.3 percent. At Notre Dame, it was 8.4 percent. The numbers at Yale (8.9 percent), and Princeton (9.9 percent) were also fairly low. The share at Stanford was 12 percent. I wouldn’t expect 50 percent of Harvard students — or even, say, 40 percent of Harvard students — to come from the bottom 50 percent of the income distribution. But 6.5 percent? To put it another way, do you believe that more than 93 percent of the students who are most deserving of attending the nation’s most prestigious, best financed college come from the top half of the income...

Romney's Abortion Problem?

In addition to a Mormon problem, David Bernstein argues that Mitt Romney has an abortion problem as well: [I]t really is true that Romney ran into incredible resistance to Mormonism, particularly among evangelical voters (and thus, particularly in the South). But again, I think that resistance really grew after. I don't think so many preachers would have been describing Mormonism as such an abomination at the time, if they had been more disposed toward Romney as a candidate. From very early in the [2008] campaign -- or pre-campaign phase, really -- the McCain camp and their allies made sure that every religious conservative learned that Romney was lying about being pro-life. That's an absolute atrocity to those voters. It horrifies them. Romney tried desperately to fight back, both insisting that he's always been pro-life, and also inventing a story about converting to the cause of the pre-born in 2004. It never took, which is unsurprising since he in fact was pro-choice (for these...

Voting Rights in Washington D.C.

As I'm sure you know, despite the District of Columbia's large population, D.C. residents lack meaningful representation in Congress, as well as full authority over city government. Writing for The New York Times op-ed page, Kate Masur explains why: One problem is indifference; most Americans are unaware of the capital’s anomalous status, the city’s “Taxation Without Representation” license plates notwithstanding. A second is partisanship; to establish a vote in Congress for Washingtonians, who are overwhelmingly Democrats, Republicans would have to place a moral imperative ahead of partisan interests. Another is race. A half-century after the dawn of the civil rights era, many Americans still have a hard time seeing African-Americans as citizens entitled to the rights that so many white people take for granted. For residents of a place once known as “Chocolate City,” these attitudes are a sadly familiar obstacle to equality. I'd put race and partisanship at the top of that list; even...

Under Pressure

Via Think Progress, an unusually candid Tim Pawlenty notes the inherent difficulty of holding science-based views in a resolutely anti-science political party: PAWLENTY: Well, anybody who’s going to run for this office who’s been in an executive position, or may run, has got some clunkers in their record. Laura, mine I think are fewer and less severe than most. As to climate change, or more specifically cap-and-trade, I’ve just come out and admitted it — look, it was a mistake, it was stupid. [...] Everybody in the race, well at least the big names in the race, embraced climate change or cap-and-trade at one point or another. Every one of us. Obviously, Pawlenty was substantively correct in both acknowledging the reality of climate change, and endorsing "cap and trade" as a means to reduce the human-generated production of greenhouse gases. The same goes for Mitt Romney -- who once praised cap and trade as "good for business" -- and Mike Huckabee , who on a visit to New Hampshire in...

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